Day Of The Generals

Met Day today!

Ertijaal wins Sea Cottage Stakes_compressed

Listed Sea Cottage Stakes winner Ertijaal is unbeaten in three – can he challenge Act Of War?

The winners of the last three years of the R1 million Gr1 Investec Cape Derby look like serious future stallion prospects in the making and, while it is early days yet, the top-class Act Of War looks likely to follow in their giant footsteps. He also sets out to make it three from four for his sire Dynasty when starting favourite for one of South Africa’s great classics on Met day. But Mike De Kock may have other ideas with an Australian export.

The Arc En Ciel bred Act Of War has swept all before him in a stunning rise to prominence since winning a low key maiden race on a cold day in May last year.

Since then he has grown in confidence, winning two Gr3’s, a Gr2 and culminating his soaring rise into the clouds by beating the highly vaunted Harry’s Son in the Grand Parade Cape Guineas.

Cape Guineas winner Act Of War goes for seven on the trot

Cape Guineas winner Act Of War goes for seven on the trot

Act Of War goes for seven in a row on Saturday, in what could well be the last time we see him race on SA soil, and he will have plenty of supporters.

He races off an MR of 117 versus a next best of 102, what, or who, can beat Act Of War?

Threats

In a nutshell – it is his first time beyond a mile. And he faces a low-profile Mike De Kock bomb.

Having shown no stamina limitations with the manner of his emphatic victories, it is fair to conclude that blood and ability will carry the day.

There is no question that his sire will infuse the yards to get the 2000m. He is out of a Cordoba mare, who won 4 races up to a mile. The family have not performed at much further than that but Act Of War looks the classic standout.

Mike De Kock and Joey Ramsden

The Generals bumping heads in the Cape Derby – Mike De Kock and Joey Ramsden

De Kock Crows

Mike De Kock brings the undefeated in three, Australian-bred Ertijaal, to Cape Town.

With proven stamina and an electrifying turn of foot, Ertijaal looks very exciting.

The Listed Sea Cottage Stakes winner won his first two starts by an aggregate of 16 lengths, before his peak run in the Turffontein 1800m feature.

Admittedly rushed to get to this point, after his career was delayed due to setbacks, including colic surgery, Ertijaal faces his biggest test on Saturday – and may well be equal to the task.

Lerena Aboard

Gavin Lerena has won twice on him and gets the nod again from a fair draw.

After Alboran Sea clinched a big win for the yard in last Saturday’s Gr1 Cape Flying Championship, Mike De Kock will be keen to pencil his 103rd Gr1 win into his freshly audited statistics register.

Piere Strydom is back to ride Politician Stakes winner The  Conglomerate

Piere Strydom is back aboard Politician Stakes winner The Conglomerate

Piere Strydom returns to pilot The Conglomerate after riding the son of Lonhro to a commanding win in the Listed Politician Stakes.

A winner of 3 of his last 4 starts, The Conglomerate is yet to bump Act Of War’s recent level of competition, but will be swooping if his stablemate fluffs his lines.

Ramsden Grey

The third of the Ramsden brigade is the grey Trippi gelding Liquid Mercury, who has registered four straight wins since breaking the ice on Guy Fawkes day over 1400m at Kenilworth.

His improvement has been steady, but unspectacular in terms of what he has beaten. Capel Top, whom he defeated narrowly last time, failed at his next start.

Liquid Mercury goes 2000m for the first time on Saturday and while progressive, he needs to show he is Gr1 level material.

His stablemate Catkin rounds off the Ramsden quartet.

The son of Horse Chestnut was well beaten in the Gr2 Selangor Cup and looks firmly held by Act Of War.

Glen Kotzen's Light The Lights - may prefer the 2000m

Glen Kotzen’s Light The Lights – may prefer the 2000m

Interesting

Glen Kotzen’s Light The Lights looked an exciting prospect as a 2yo, but has gone quiet since winning a PE feature in October.

Outgunned against his elders in the Green Point Stakes, he failed to make an impression in the Guineas when 8 lengths back.

The half-brother to the UK-based In The Fast Lane has an interesting mix of speed and stamina in his pedigree, and could make an impact at his first try beyond a mile.

Snaith Duo

The Snaith duo of Arniston and Bianzino were both well beaten by The Conglomerate.

Arniston finished 5,75 lengths behind at level weights, while Bianzino was a further 0,25 lengths adrift and has to find 3kgs on Act Of War on top of that.

Yogas Govender will be pleased to have a Gr1 runner and the West Coast trainer earmarked the Black Minnaloushe colt Krambambuli as a prospective Derby candidate early on.

The Conglomerate beat him by 3 lengths when giving him 2kgs last time and on paper Krambambuli is well held.

He is, however, largely unexposed and could be worth including in the back end of quartets.

Mike Bass’ Seven Oceans was sandwiched in between The Conglomerate and Krambambuli last time but needs to find 3kgs and 1kg respectively.

The son of Seventh Rock won an unconvincing strength maiden at his penultimate and is unexposed against the top-rated 3yo’s.

Boat Race

It looks a boat race between Act Of War and Ertijaal.

If it was a mile, we would suggest Act Of War is a good thing. Over 400m further, don’t discount Ertijaal.

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